Is it a creative strategy? Or is it a strategy for the creative message?
The logic we're describing in this chapter is that once we establish who we're talking to and what we want to say, then we develop the strategy for the creative message – which is how we're going to say it.
The creative strategy is not the creative concept or execution. It's how we are going to say what we want to communicate? For example:
- Will we use endorsements?
- Will we appeal to a sense of fear?
- Appeal to pride?
- Appeal to pity?
- Bandwagon appeal?
There are millions of creative concepts that could be used for each of the above strategies.
The targets' characteristics and motivations will guide the best choices.
Remember – it's not often admitted, but quite often the creative strategy is written after the creative concept is born. Ideas for creative concepts just seem to pop out at all stages of a campaign's development. If they come in the early stages of plan development – say during research or creation of the general strategies – we always want to capture them, then see how they hold up as we move through the processes. We try not to “fall in love” with our ideas too early in the game.
Once the creative strategies are determined, the concepts can be developed and then, as a safety measure, judged as to whether or not they're on communications strategy.
Interestingly, the creative strategy for media relations is often different because it doesn't target the end consumer. Rather, it is aimed at the editorial gatekeepers – the journalists – who will ultimately talk about the client's product or service. We must be prepared to answer the question, "How will we convince the journalist to cover a story?"
- Is the product truly amazing?
- Does it portend a significant trend?
- Will it educate or inform their readers, listeners and viewers?
- Is it a quirky, fun angle?
- Is there some celebrity or charity connection?
- Does it relate to current events?